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Thread: The Old Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America)

  1. #2701
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: The Logo Speaks

    I believe the implosion I warned about is now taking place. It won't be fast, but it will be painful.

    And if I'm wrong about it starting now, it's no big deal since it's rather a bit like trying to predict earthquakes. We know that they're going to happen and where. It's just the when that's difficult to pin down.

  2. #2702
    aka eraser
    Guest

    How about this?

    Seems to me there's one weapon in the fight against Publish America that hasn't been used yet.

    Complaints to the BBS, the State Attorney, the IRS all take time. Court cases can drag on for years and years.

    Does anyone among our collective not know a good investigative reporter working for at least a semi-major daily?

    I have a nodding acquaintance with one of the best in Canada but I think this is primarily of interest to a US paper. I doubt she could sell it to her editor without a strong Canuck angle.

    Kevin's 30+30+30+30 etc. story itself, when contrasted with the Logo's lies should be enough to make a good reporter drool. Add the other stories he/she could glean from our threads alone and I see a heck of a lid-busting story.

    Publish America (I think we should use their full name more - better shot at hitting the first page of search engines) built their house of lies with words. Words wielded by the right hand, in the right forum, could bring them down.

  3. #2703
    KW
    Guest

    How about this?

    I doubt she could sell it to her editor without a strong Canuck angle.
    There is one Frank. PA has a lot of Canadian writers they are taking advantage of.

    Kevin

  4. #2704
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: Demonstrating that PA lies about editing its books

    Assume PA has 25 editorial employees. They've made that claim. They also once claimed 32 of them, but for now we'll go with 25.

    Assume a 40-hour work week. Assume PA publishes 400 titles a month, which is pretty much what they do.

    Twenty-five editorial employees, working full time, gives you 4,000 editorial work hours per month. That's ten hours per book.

    Ten hours is not enough time to edit a book.

    Furthermore, we've never heard of PA hiring employees purely as text processors; yet there's a fair amount of text processing that has to happen in order for an author's electronic file to be turned into formatted book pages.

    First, you have to clean up the text: take out the double spaces, turn the double hyphens into proper em-dashes, make single and double quotes into their proper left-and-right versions, regularize whateverthehell the author's done with paragraph indents, and look out for one or two dozen other little problems of that caliber.

    Second, you have to format the book. Chapter breaks have to actually break, with chapter sinks and formatted chapter heads. There has to be frontmatter: half-title, panel, title, copyright pages, in their proper format and order. You have to put running heads on the pages, usually title on the recto and author on the verso. Does PA handle excerpts as excerpts, footnotes as footnotes, et cetera? If so, those have to be seen to as well.

    I can't imagine that PA is paying people to do more than one pass on a manuscript; and, as I mentioned earlier, we've never heard of them hiring people just to process and format text. I believe that the job done by the people they call editors is actually electronic manuscript cleanup, interior text formatting, frontmatter creation, and maybe a single-pass spellchecking. Ten hours per book would be just about what it takes to do a middlin' perfunctory version of the tasks I've just outlined.

    If PA has the 32 editorial employees they claimed on one occasion, the time available per book comes out to 12 hours 48 minutes -- which is still not enough time to edit a book, and no great amount of time to clean up and format an electronic manuscript.

    Why the foregoing is demonstrably overgenerous: Some of PA's available editorial hours have to be going into their perfunctory cover copy and press releases.

    People who've looked into the question of whether PA edits, as they promise and claim, have in my opinion been distracted by the question of whether PA edits well. I think it's clear that they don't edit at all.

  5. #2705
    Sher2
    Guest

    Re: Demonstrating that PA lies about editing its books

    People who've looked into the question of whether PA edits, as they promise and claim, have in my opinion been distracted by the question of whether PA edits well. I think it's clear that they don't edit at all.

    I can attest to that. I recently got proofs, and it was clear that the only editing done was to run it through a spell-checker. On some words, while the spelling was correct, they removed, for example, capitalization of proper nouns. They had a great deal of trouble with the concept of hyphens versus dashes. Several indents and hard returns were off. On one 6-letter word, they inexplicably left out the second letter, making the word appear as x xxxx. It wasn't just a typo on their part; they did it six times. It must have been a word their spell-checker didn't recognize.

    Within days of sending in my list of corrections, I was sent the second set of proofs -- at 10:30 at night. They shaved five and a half hours off the 48-hour response time, too. Some of the corrections had been made, others had not. I sent in a second list of corrections, but it remains to be seen whether they will be implemented.

    So help me God, I will never sign another contract before first researching the publisher to the ends of the earth.

  6. #2706
    Whachawant
    Guest

    Re: Demonstrating that PA lies about editing its books

    Y'know there is software that also does grammar corrections or at least suggested changes. I wonder,...when a MS is submitted to P.A., the so called editor, runs it through a scanner with OCR technology and then runs a spell/grammar check.
    Although this software is nice to have it still requires the human touch. I'm not defending P.A. but, you all might want to be ready for that response.
    Perhaps those missing 7 people were replaced by Pentium I technical dinosaurs, with second rate applications. Lord knows you don't have to pay a computer an hourly wage.g

  7. #2707
    CaoPaux
    Guest

    It's that time of the month again...

    There should be more "bestsellers" in the NYT this weekend, yes?

  8. #2708
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: Demonstrating that PA lies about editing its books

    Automated grammar-checkers are an interesting scientifictional idea. It could be that when sophisticated AIs become a commonly available resource, we'll actually start seeing some. But until then? No. All the current generation can do is spot instances of of repeated words, and occasionally catch simple disagreements of number in simple declarative sentences. Along the way, they flag a vast number of errors that aren't, and miss errors any literate Anglophone would catch.

    In answer to your specific question, no, I don't imagine PA is running a grammar checker on its manuscripts, because doing so would eat up a vast amount of paid employee time while doing no good at all. If PA tried to argue in court that running a grammar checker constituted editing, there'd be several fruitful responses one could make. One would be to bring in an endless string of text-processing professionals, all of whom would explain that, basically, grammar checkers don't. Another response would be to point out the numerous grammatical errors left standing in PA's books. But the fun response would be to take an unexceptionable piece of text and demonstrate how many of its sentences were flagged as wrong by a grammar checker, and then take a semi-literate piece of text and demonstrate how many errors the software missed.

    I stopped believing in grammar checkers the first time I saw a computer magazine do a gangup review of various grammar-checking software packages. They had one of those little charts showing which programs had which features. Every one of the grammar checkers had a checkmark for "flags split infinitives", and another for "flags terminal prepositions". Trouble is, neither of those are grammatical errors in English. When you see something like that, you know the design problems go all the way down.

    Grammar checkers might work better in languages which have more regular syntax, and inflections and/or declensions that indicate a word's function, and which don't have the English lanaguage's habit of casually transferring words from one part of speech to another. Our inflections are few and irregular. Sometimes they're misleading: farthing is not a verb, friendly is an adjective, and scissors and trousers are singular nouns. The English subjunctive is appropriate or inappropriate depending on whether the statement is conditional or hypothetical, and therefore can't be judged by any computer that can't parse natural speech.

    And so forth and so on, with many more examples. A grammar checker is best thought of as a piece of software that by definition was designed by someone who doesn't know enough about English to understand that grammar checkers don't work. Every writer I know turns them off first thing when they reinstall their word processor.

  9. #2709
    BeckEaston
    Guest

    It's a blatent lie.

    When new authors agree to sign with PA they are told up front that they must provide an "edited" manuscript to the best of their capabilities. Authors should NEVER edit their own product. But then again, that's just the opinion of actual industry professionals. To get back to the aforementioned statement, authors are given the manuscript back to approve after "changes have been made." Those changes are importation into PageMaker and a small macro that tells the program to indent the first paragraph. Then it is sent back to the author for corrections. (What their editors do or get paid for is beyond comprehension!) In my case, they did nothing and when the manuscript was imported, it eliminated the proper indenting, words, grammar structure. When I complained about this and tried to hault the production to get it right (therefore benefiting both PA and myself) at a cost to me personally, (that option is in the contract) I was denied. The following is a response from Claudia who works at PA about the subject of my manuscript not being "edited" properly. Afterward, because I complained, I was banned from their message boards, and removed from all company notifications. They even hung the phone up on me.

    ----- Original Message -----

    First, I can assure you changes were already made to your MS. Second, if you wish to redo the Word document I can only give you until Thursday to have it to me. The corrections I am addressing are changes to the text of the sentence or paragraph. I agree to do the puctuation, spelling or grammar. Please let me know today what you wish to do. Again, I remind you to read the letter that accommpanied your PDF file, it does outline what is involved with making corrections to your file. The changes that you want now should have been done by you before submission.
    Claudia
    P.S. Notice her spelling errors? This is HER JOB! >:

    But alas, now I am free of the corruption! :clap

  10. #2710
    Molly Brent
    Guest

    editing

    My opinion is that each case is different. All editors are not educated equally.

    In my case a spell check/ grammar etc was NOT used at all and I can prove it. I was told that they have a department to do that before the editor gets it.

    My "editor" was not a bad person. She was not capable of doing something she was never trained to do. She was not smart enough to do it. Most of what she touched she messed up. Even if she had not been short on time, she could not have done it.

    She was not angry or insulting, just dumb. "We all needs help sometimes" It's hard to be angry with someone incapable of understanding.

    If we ever go to court, it would be a safe bet to use her as an example and see if she could pass a 5th grade English test. She couldn't. I have her name.

    Her e mails are on my other computer. My nephew was here with me when this was happening (he is a good writer, but a surgeon by profession) and the editor's e mails were so bad, he was laughing, thinking it had to be some kind of joke they were playing on me. He couldn't belive it was for real.

    ON the contract issue someone asked about earlier.....my advice would be not to sign a termination agreement unless they removed the book from the online book stores first...otherwise they will continue to sell your book and not pay you. I am not interested in the $1.79 but I have done everything and my book is still being sold. My book has been out for one year this month. I have received one check for $35. The second royalty check never came at all. My contract was cancelled in May.

    Since my contract has been cancelled, I have moved from the 3000 range on Amazon's (PA list) to 168.
    I moved into the 1500 range and now back to 914 range. It is hard to keep up since it moves up and down frequently.

    I was told the other day that I could order as many as I wanted but anything over 5, there would be a slight delay so they could order directly from the publisher. I sent that response and the "in print" to the attorney general.

    Amazon has Market Place and will continue to sell "used" books and it is impossible to get it removed.

    I wrote to the governor of MD about our inability to get any agency in MD to take our complaints. I did hear from him.

    I encourage everyone to complain. It will make a difference.

    Molly

  11. #2711
    priceless1
    Guest

    I'm free...

    I'm free of the clutches of a certain publisher whose name graces this board quite often. This is a real personal victory, as each of our books deserve the very best that publishing has to offer. Our little company started out of that need and it feels great to treat our authors the way I wished I'd been treated.

    I've been libeled by this company, had my home town blasted about their boards to the point where it truly frightened me, had lies spread about our company, and treated with arrogant disdain. If I tried this with any of our authors we'd be out of business, and rightly so.

    Since they continue to advertise and sell my book on their website and all the online stores, I'm assuming their attorney needs to go back to law school to understand the law a bit more clearly. I'm very fortunate to have the very talented and well connected services of a fine attorney. Upon completion of this distasteful event, I have no doubt they will rue the day they ever heard the name C.E. Petit, Esq.

    To those who have been so kind and supportive of me during last March's board fun, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    For those who feel you have no hope fighting the 'big guy', rest assured that you do. There are good people and attorneys who know an awful lot about this company and are in very strong positions to offer help and success.

    If you feel your work is worth it, don't give up the dream.

    Many thanks, everyone.

  12. #2712
    ncq13
    Guest

    Contract Termination

    I just sent off my request to terminate my PA contract. I'm using the Ingrams issue, the blatant lie on the FAQs page about PA being a "traditional publisher," and the refusal for local bookstores to stock non-returnable PA books as grounds. Wish me luck.

  13. #2713
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: Contract Termination

    Ah, another chance for them to fire off their "don't take that tone with us" letter.

    - Victoria

  14. #2714
    BeckEaston
    Guest

    Hello again Molly!

    You heard from the AG? Who? It's good to see you again. How's the health? Have you submitted to other publishers? Yours is a great story...it deserves its day.

    Luck to anyone who isn't at all happy, and does something about it. Good For you! :thumbs

  15. #2715
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: It's a blatent lie.

    When new authors agree to sign with PA they are told up front that they must provide an "edited" manuscript to the best of their capabilities.

    Can anyone confirm or deny that the extent of PA "editing" is sending back the PDF file together with a one-page list of common English errors with instructions to the author to find and correct them?

    ----------------

    I believe the NYT Book Review with the next ad will be on Sunday the 24th, not this Sunday -- the deadline for completed copy for this Sunday's edition was on 30 September.

    -----------------

    Molly, like I said, I got a copy of your book this last week (for $30.88!). I have the dated cash register receipt. If you need it to prove that PA is printing books that they don't have the right to print -- I'm right here.

    -----------------

    Everyone -- keep fighting, and keep smiling. PublishAmerica is not what traditional publishing is like. Have faith in yourself, and in your craft. Work on your skills.

    -----------------

    If only 1% of authors see their books shelved in bookstores, I have to be the luckiest SOB on the face of the earth. Around thirty novels, around thirty short stories in anthologies, and every stinkin' one of them has wound up on bookstore shelves without my lifting a finger to make it happen.

    ------------------

    Hey, ProandCon, you still around? Did you have a chance to review my latest? (What's yours? I'll do a review for you, too.)

  16. #2716
    CaoPaux
    Guest

    This is editing?

    Sadly appropriate:

    www.publishamerica.com/cg...e/6268.htm
    -----
    hg
    10/12/2004
    21:30:36

    Message:

    "It's been a "trip"!

    The "author copies" arrived today. Proof reading revealed "a small hitch"...I've grown accustomed to this, lol. Upon completion of its remedy, the pre-sold and complimentary "signed copies" order will be submitted (Mrs. Laura Bush, Rhonda Vincent, Rosanne Cash, Linda Vester and PA authors...you know who you are..."It won't be long!")

    You can quote me on the following:

    Publish America takes financial risks in order to help first-time authors share their literary works. They do so without demanding "thousands of dollars" as do many other publishers. For this PA justifiably deserves much recognition.

    Is PA perfect in its methods? Is life perfect? Both may at times cause stress and confusion but both are "more than worth the experience" should you be fortunate enough to "encounter" either...I recommend "both" very highly!

    Live your life "and" seek Publish America for giving "life" to your literary works!

    Within The Rooms Of A Heart: A journey of love in poetry and prose, Harold D. Geesaman.
    ISBN: 1-4137-3920-2 hometown.aol.com/poetofshaddows

    -----
    whitewolfzty
    10/12/2004
    22:23:31

    Message:
    Harold,
    Congratulations, and I wish you great sales. Your statement is very eloquently written and direct. PA has, indeed, given many new authors (myself included) a unique experience.
    Thanks for reminding us just how much we should show our appreciation to PublishAmerica and the staff that support us in our literary endeavors.
    KenC.
    Dying to Believe

    -----
    hg
    10/12/2004
    22:51:26

    Message:

    I thank you, Ken ...

    -----
    hg
    10/15/2004
    13:30:11

    Message:

    In case you're wondering what the "hitches" specifically were ... two pages missing page numbers and a line in which "liken" became "like" ... and how they were handled (without further commentary).

    Response to my proof corrections email:

    10/14/04
    Dear Mr. Geesaman,
    We are in receipt of your request for further revisions to your book in print. After a review of your requested revisions, we have elected not to make them at this time. They do not significantly impact your book's overall existing quality or marketability.


    Sincerely,
    Sarah Becker
    Text Production Manager

    My response:

    Sarah ...

    I tend to agree with your decision ...
    it also makes sense to wait and see if demand is such to warrant the changes ...

    -----
    :shrug

  17. #2717
    BeckEaston
    Guest

    It's a blatent lie!

    Can anyone confirm or deny that the extent of PA "editing" is sending back the PDF file together with a one-page list of common English errors with instructions to the author to find and correct them?
    Yes, I can confirm that the extent of PA editing is sending a PDF file back to the author. However, I cannot confirm that PA sends a list of corrections to be made. The author is told it is their responsibility to know where they are and make those corrections, not the editing department. This I can prove.

  18. #2718
    KW
    Guest

    This is editing?

    PA has, indeed, given many new authors (myself included) a unique experience.
    Yeah PA gives new authors a unique experience.....if it is good or bad is in the eyes of the author though. I know what my experience has been like.

    Kevin

  19. #2719
    Molly Brent
    Guest

    Re: The Logo Speaks

    Healthwise, I am up to 16 minutes on the bike this week and going to 20 next week, plus my other exercises have increased. My legs are getting stronger daily.

    I haven't gotten brave enough for the treadmill yet but plan to start soon. The doc gave orders not make me do it until I was ready.

    No wheelchair in a week now at all. Yesterday I walked from the parking lot and went to the 3rd floor...My first time by myself. I can even drive myself to rehab now.

    For people who don't know my situation, they can't tell anything is wrong.

    My hearing has been restored to 85% and they consider it one of the few total success stories.

    I am getting away from some of the docs and it has been only been 5 months since the stroke.

    In the writing department, I have lost all interest. I no longer care about my book. To me this is one of the sadest things that PA does to authors. I will be 67 in a few weeks so it's not that bad for me, but it is so heartbreaking to hear young ones give up.

    Becca, I will e mail you about all the publisher stuff. I was asked not to post it publically.

    Thanks for asking about my health. Thought I'd post that since so many people have e mailed me. I really do appreciate all my friends here.

    I will be interested in joining anything anybody wants to do to take action and my hate for that publisher has not changed. I just think I've done and said about all I can.

    Molly

  20. #2720
    Sher2
    Guest

    Re: It's a blatent lie.

    Can anyone confirm or deny that the extent of PA "editing" is sending back the PDF file together with a one-page list of common English errors with instructions to the author to find and correct them?


    I've just finished my proofs (PDF file) this week, and I can confirm that I got no such list. Instead, I sent them a list of corrections. Alas, when I received the second set of proofs, not all of the very simple corrections had been made.

  21. #2721
    AnneMarble
    Guest

    Re: editing

    She was not angry or insulting, just dumb. "We all needs help sometimes" It's hard to be angry with someone incapable of understanding.
    :wha :smack

    Thanks for posting that. I remembered reading something like that about a PA editor, but I couldn't remember who had posted it or the exact quote from the editor's e-mail.

  22. #2722
    ncq13
    Guest

    Re: Contract Termination

    I just filed a complaint with the BBB today too, and hope to have my letter in to the AG this weekend. Should PA send a nasty note back to my very polite letter I will certainly print a copy and share it with the MD AG.
    I have also sent my novel out to a couple of individuals for second opinions and plan on sprucing it up so that I can submit it elsewhere when my rights are returned.
    This whole business has been draining and has made me miserable. It has been incredibly difficult to work on other projects and I have basically felt like both an a** (for falling for the scam) and a failure for not "really" being a published author. I'm glad I decided to stop "thinking" about facing the issues and start actually dealing with them head one. Finally having the courage to take action is quite liberating. I feel like I have energy again!
    I can't thank everyone here enough for all of their help, information, and support.

  23. #2723
    Sher2
    Guest

    Re: Contract Termination

    I'm glad I decided to stop "thinking" about facing the issues and start actually dealing with them head one. Finally having the courage to take action is quite liberating. I feel like I have energy again!
    I can't thank everyone here enough for all of their help, information, and support.

    Here's wishing you good luck and a speedy resolution. Oh, yeah, and -- wooo chaaaaaa!!

  24. #2724
    D Dawes
    Guest

    Terminating PA's Contract

    ncq13 I'm glad you're taking a stand to protect your book rights. PublishAmerica has a tendency to make everyone feel miserable. After all, negative energy breeds negativity. I hope you are successful in reclaiming your book rights without signing a gag order.

    If you're looking for more ammunition to refute PA's claims that they are not obligated to get books placed on bookstore shelves, review the marketing material they sent you. Although they may have made some revisions so that the material does not contradict the revised website, here's what #7 stated a year ago:

    "So, What's PublishAmerica Doing?

    By now, you're probably wondering what PublishAmeria is doing for you while you're doing all of this. Well, I'll tell you. The first thing we do is create and send out a direct mailing for your book. Each book receives its own individualized mailing, and is not packaged with any other advertising material. The mailing is sent to every person on the mailing list that you provided to us after signing your contract. These mailings allow for pre-order of your book at a special, discounted price.

    Meanwhile, if your book is not already finished, it is undergoing the production process. Our editors are hard at work preparing your book for print, and your cover is being designed. Once this is finished, the book is printed.

    We then announce your book to the industry, listing it with Bowker's Books-In-Print, with wholesalers like Baker & Taylor, Brodart Co., and Ingram, and we make it available through the PublishAmerica website, and online bookstores such as Amazon.com, borders.com, BN.com, Chapters.com, and through the 50,000 corresponding bricks and mortar stores. Your book will be available through all of these channels within six weeks from the time you receive your complimentary author copies."

    However, when this does not materialize and authors complain to the AG, they'll cushion their statements by saying, "In reference to bookstore placement, a word of caution.

  25. #2725
    Risseybug
    Guest

    Re: I'm free...

    Our little company started out of that need and it feels great to treat our authors the way I wished I'd been treated.
    Wow, if PA only knew that. LOL. That may be the one, and only one, good thing to come out of PA. They caused at least two people I know to start their own publishing house b/c of how badly they were treated.

    Just in case you didn't know, LBF was the other one. The editor there got burned by PA too, and started that company, with help from someone else.

    Interesting...

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